Dr. Colleen Dell (PhD)
Professor and researcher in Sociology,
Centennial Enhancement Chair in One Health and Wellness at the University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Dell is a public sociologist and a critical interdisciplinary researcher (making linkages between disciplines) with a trans-disciplinary research program (social and health sciences).
She is committed to engaging with non-academic audiences and to knowledge translation and mobilization of my research findings. Her research program is grounded in an empowering, community-based and patient-oriented participatory approach, with both humans and animals. Her human research centres on healing from addictions and mental health. In this work she has addressed innovative areas in problematic substance use, ranging from horse assisted therapy for youth in addictions treatment to knowledge translation efforts addressing the role of identity and stigma in the healing journeys of Indigenous women facing substance use health problems.
In her work with animals she looks at their role in human healing, and specifically the human-animal bond, including for companion animals/pets, therapy animals, service animals, and emotional support animals. Underlying her work is a belief in bringing together different ways of knowing into a shared and transformative space, with an emphasis on lived experience and Indigenous knowledge.
Based on her academic background and lived experiences and practice, she works to contribute understanding and awareness about more-than-human animals, within a holistic environment, to Sociology specifically and society generally.
For more information on Dr. Dell’s work, visit:
DR. Linzi Williamson (PhD)
CE, CIHR Patient-Oriented Research Transition to Leadership Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Office of One Health & Wellness, Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan
Chair, Canadian Evaluation Society Educational Fund (CESEF)
Dr. Linzi Williamson from the University of Saskatchewan has been conducting research with Dr. Colleen Dell and AUDEAMUS, Inc. since 2018 examining the effects of Service Dogs on Veterans with PTSD who problematically use substances. As a PhD-trained researcher and Credentialed Evaluator (CE) she has 10+ years of leading and collaborating on university- and community-based projects in physical and psychological health domains, primarily within a patient-oriented research framework.
To learn more about her work, visit:
Alexandria R. Pavelich, MA
She/her - PhD Student, Research Assistant
Alexandria identifies as a pain sociologist with her academic pursuits focusing on the social elements of psychological and physiological suffering.
She currently acts as a graduate student researcher under the supervision of Dr. Colleen Anne Dell, where Alexandria contributes to various research endeavours exploring animal-assisted intervention and experiences of pain. Her master’s research with Canadian military veterans assessed the potential social significance that service dogs may have for those at-risk for suicide; primary findings concluded that “mattering” can exist through human-canine interactions, and that service dogs are reported as being a direct catalyst in reducing suicidality.
Currently, Alexandria is working on a Mental Health Research of Canada funded study to understand the impact therapy dogs have for patients presenting to an emergency room with mental health and substance use concerns. She resides in Saskatoon with her therapy dog, Zola, and companion cat, Ivan, and spends her spare time volunteering for St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program and the Saskatchewan Pain Society.